“…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” (Acts 1:8)
The “ye shall be” in the verse cited above is a plural not a singular “ye”. In the Greek the word is “esesthe”. It is the 2nd person plural form of the future tense verb “eimi” meaning “shall be”. In our Southern vernacular we’d say “y’all”. Or in my mountain upbringing we might even say, “yunces”. The point being, it is all inclusive. Nobody is left out. You, y’all, yunces, however you slice it, it involves us all. Every one is expected to be!
With that in mind I want to share with you from the seventh chapter of Avery Willis’s book entitled, Biblical Basis of Mission, a condensed version of an imagined summit between Satan and his emissaries of darkness and deceit as they began to battle the growth of the new found Church in the first century A.D.
Satan opens the summit saying, “We need a new strategy. Since the Pentecost sensation, our strategy of intimidation and murder has not stopped the church. Their leaders are not our problem, be we can’t stop the ordinary people.”
Then another demon added, “They talk about Jesus spontaneously, whether they have a leader or not. When we scatter them by persecution, it is like trying to stamp out a grassfire.”
And another chimed in, “When we kick them out of synagogues and public meeting places, they just worship in their homes. When we have services banned, they go to the catacombs”.
As the evil spirit beings sat in silent despair, Satan suddenly stood to his feet and declared, “I have it! We’ll make Christians think that only leaders can witness. We can tell them that leaders are different and no one else is equipped to do their jobs.”
Then another demon suggested, “We can tell the leaders they should have authority in the church. They’ll gladly fall for that! Then we can give pastors so many different jobs to do that they won’t have time to pray, or study the Word, or to equip the saints, or to otherwise help the church to grow”.
“Right”, injected another evil one, “And we could give the pastor special designations or titles to make him different. For instance, we could say he is ‘full-time’ so the members will think their ministry is only part-time. We could say he is the servant of God so members would think they aren’t. We could even say he has surrendered for special service so that they think their service isn’t important. We’ll make them all think he has special status and that they are rank amateurs. We could even make them believe that missionaries who go to other races and places are holier than anyone else so that they would never dream of being a missionary. Our kingdom will not be in danger if we can keep church members passive and we have to fight only overburdened leaders”.
Chilling thought, isn’t it? I am not so sure how imagined it is. As I write these words, we have just recently completed SPLASH 2016 and I can begin to see possibilities of reversing those lies from the pits of hell. I think we averaged 166 folks, not counting drivers and cooks, and some other behind-the-scenes people, reaching out in direct witness to people right here in Gordon County. Some may have sung, played bingo, or simply visited with a resident in a nursing home. Others may have put a roof on a house or trimmed shrubbery. Still others may have worked in a backyard Bible club, or a Boys & Girls club or Imagination Station. Others may have painted or done repairs. Still others may have been sharing door-to-door, or preaching on a street corner, or sharing in a fire house or police headquarters. But the simple truth of the matter is, when it was all said and done more than 50 new souls had accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. And there is no knowing how many more will yet come to trust Him as a result of our efforts. Hallelujah!
By the time you read this, we will be in the midst of, or just finished with, our On Mission Connection Revival. We are praying that even more will sense their call to missions. It is only as every single one of us begin to realize that all of us are needed to truly impact our world that we will ever get that job done.
People need the Lord! But you may be the very one God intends to tell them. As someone said to me just the other day, “I don’t know about you, but God is convicting me that I need to be doing a whole lot more about sharing Jesus with others.” Could God be saying the same to you and me?